On September 8th Baltic – Nordic Circus Network and “Arts printing house” gathered press, circus professionals and policy makers from all around the Baltic – Nordic region to a seminar called “Baltic – Nordic region: impact of circus”. During the meeting Lotta Vaulo, Director of “CircusInfo” centre, introduced concept and main aims of Baltic – Nordic Circus Network, presented their field of work and stated that it is really important and efficient that every country represents diverse cultural background and different positions of circus in art society, because it gives a chance to see common issues from various points of view.
One of the priorities of this seminar was – sharing of experience, so Joonas Martikainen (Lapland, Finland), Mara Pavula (Latvia), Petra Päivärinne (Finland) and Anna Ljungqvist (Sweden) presented case examples of good practices how it is possible to develop and popularize the culture of contemporary circus. Audience was introduced to various organisations, their activity, presenters showed examples of educational programmes, circus festivals, workshops, they had organised earlier. Speakers shared experiences of collaborating with artists from other art fields, showed how to involve circus in various social projects and what the outcome usually is, presented the research about circus community organisations and education in Baltic States and tendencies of its change over time.
Minna Sirnö, Director of Finnish Arts Promotion Centre, prepared a speech about why supporting circus is important in today’s society. She presented arguments and points of how support of art works in global, national, economical and, furthermore, individual levels and how beneficial it is to society. In discussion after the speech, Minna answered the questions of the audience and discussed how it could be possible to get financing, what arguments should be made and finally, how to present contemporary circus as equivalent art form as others. Linda Beijer from Manegen organisation remembered about managing Circus Cirkor in social projects at schools and immigrant’s integration centers in Sweden and about why this kind of connection is the only way to actually feel the impact of circus in local societies. A speech about an impact of circus in Baltic region was delivered by Anna Laine, Cultural officer at Finnish Institute in Tallinn. She presented development of circus culture in Estonia and how it transferred to other Baltic countries, after that everyone was invited to share opinions and thoughts about what is necessary to broaden culture of circus in Baltic region. Finally, this dialog was followed by panel discussion in which audience and presenters reflected seminar, the ideas that came up, perspectives in the future and issues which communities of circus, especially contemporary ones, have to face. Questions and ideas involved not only opportunities of collaboration, but also the struggles of contemporary circus artists in the field of politics and policy makers, what could be done to comprehend each other points of views easier.
Events are partially financed by Lithuanian Council for Culture and “Nordic Nord Plus” organisation.